July 22, 2017
Transgender Transition: The birth of a butterfly
By Kayla Lozano
People generally think that early childhood is a time of – learning to walk, potty training, and learning to say “momma” or “dada” – and everything else wonderful in-between. Life is good, right?
But what if I tell you that as a young child, I always knew I was different?
Not different like – I preferred dolls to toy guns, or wanted to wear dresses instead of my “ToughSkins” denim jeans from JCPenny (that my mother bought me in EVERY color, including ORANGE and GREEN!), or that I was always the “girl” superhero, whenever my childhood friends and I played together – BUT something far greater. Different on the inside.
As a child I could not understand why my mother insisted on dressing me up like a boy. I hated to get dressed in the mornings for school, and always took FOREVER (ok, I still kind of do, but that’s beside the point).
My aunt, who was a few years older, always got all the “pretty things.” And I wanted THOSE things. I secretly would take her prettiest things and wore them or played with them when I thought that she was not looking (but she always was). For the most part, I was a child who was constantly unhappy, confused beyond comprehension, lost, and completely alone.
Yes, I grew up in a large Mexican American family that loved and supported me the best way they knew how; but I was still alone.
A young child. Alone. Lost. Confused.
Why would this be happening to a child? Aren’t children supposed to be happy, outgoing and playful? Nope. Not this child.
The very first week that I started kindergarten I fought and bit seven young classmates (boys and girls – even at such a young age, I did not discriminate), and got expelled for two weeks! EXPELLED from KINDERGARTEN!
As time went on, my confusion and loneliness just grew. Like a cancer it slowly just grew. After years of taunting, fighting, and being bullied I then became numb.
On the outside, I learned to be outgoing. I studied – because that is what young transgender children do, they just study and learn so that one day they can fit in. I consumed EVERY minute of every hour of every day, to involving myself with extra-curricular activities, volunteerism, athletics, boy scouts, altar serving at my Catholic church (don’t get me started), school organizations and clubs, you name it, I was in it.
I learned as a young transgender child to be a chameleon. I learned to suppress my feelings, and live a life that I thought everyone wanted me to live.
I was too afraid to even go near the feelings of isolation and angst that I was feeling. I knew that I was so unhappy, uncomfortable, and excruciatingly trapped in the wrong body; but I did not know what to do.
I grew up before the internet. There were no resources readily available to me on what I was feeling. How would I even know what to look for, when I could not understand what I was feeling. I could not really put it into words. They were just feelings. Feelings that consumed my every thought.
Until one day, I just snapped.
I remember one day, right after I had broken up with my “girlfriend.” I was so upset with myself because she was unfaithful to me. You see, I had several girlfriends in my very brief and short dating history with women – but I was never sexually intimate with them. With each, I enjoyed, what I believed to be, a true love and admiration for their heart. I was (and still am) very emotionally invested (you know, with feelings and stuff); but I could never bring myself to being intimate with them. I wanted to, and I even tried a few times – but it always ended abruptly. I just could not bring myself to do it. I just never thought of girls in that way.
So back to my story, I knew that I drove my then girlfriend away. I simply could not give her what she needed from a partner – a man.
It was at that moment that I decided no more. I will not allow myself to live a lie any longer, and I will not date women because “that is what I am supposed to do.” I feared that I would one day marry a woman, and possible have children with her, and be trapped forever. I just said enough was enough. That was my breaking point.
As the story goes, I ended up moving away from home, and isolating myself from my family for what seemed forever. I found my way into a gay bar one evening with a bunch of friends from work.
The crazy thing is, I did not want to go to a gay bar. I felt uncomfortable. I cannot describe it, I just did. I knew that I was not gay, but I thought to myself, “Sure, why not, what’s the least that can happen?”
It turns out EVERYTHING happened!
It was in a gay bar that I first saw the most-beautiful woman on stage. She was a performer, by the name of Tandi Andrews. I was captivated. I was mesmerized. I was alive!
I ended staying at the club by myself that night, until it closed – and proceeded to go back EVERY night after that. You see, I had FINALLY found someone that I could identify with, and that represented who I was. I was 19 years old. I can never forget that feeling of clarity.
I knew that in that moment, my life would change because if there were people living their true selves, then I could too! Why couldn’t I?” It was like the flood gates were opened, and I could no longer contain myself.
I began my transition process with other trans “sisters” that were in my close circle of friends. I worked at the gay bar “PaperMoon” which then became “The Saint” as a trans bar back (not to be confused with bareback), and then soon after becoming a showgirl myself.
My transition has been on-going, as I am continuously evolving.
I now realize that I deserve to be me, and that I deserve a true identity. I am not perfect, and I am human like EVERYBODY else. I now celebrate what makes me unique.
Like many, I believe that what makes us different is what is MOST beautiful about us.
It was in my death that I was able to finally become who I truly was on the inside.
A lost, confused, and tormented boy died when I was 19, and one second after that, a butterfly was born.
About the Author:
Kayla Lozano (aka “blindbutterfly”) is a transgender vision-impaired female with an AA in Social Work, and is currently an undergraduate student of Social Work at the University of Houston Clear Lake. Aside from being an advocate for the Transgender community, she also has her own blog site dedicated to celebrating transgender visibility at: www.blindbutterfly.com
For more information, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org